RENO, Nev. -- Following the school's fourth losing record in the past five seasons, Nevada men's basketball coach David Carter will not return to the Wolf Pack, athletics director Doug Knuth announced on Wednesday night.

"I've made the decision to change the leadership of our men's basketball program," Knuth said. "This was not an easy decision and it did not come without a great deal of careful thought. David Carter is a model coach, mentor and teacher. He believes and supports everything we believe in collegiate athletics. We are grateful for his dedication and commitment to Wolf Pack athletics over the last 16 years, and we wish him and his family well.

"Unfortunately, the program is missing the consistency and level of performance we all expect and it is time for a new direction under a new head coach."

A national search will begin immediately for the 18th head coach in program history. Knuth will have no further comment on the search until the process is complete.

Carter's overall tenure at Nevada marked 16 seasons and included some of the top moments is school history as he served as an assistant coach during the Wolf Pack's four consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. That was part of a stretch that saw Nevada record six consecutive 20-win seasons, win five conference titles (WAC) and notch seven consecutive postseason appearances overall.

He was hired in 1999 as an assistant coach under Trent Johnson and was later elevated to associate head coach by his predecessor, Mark Fox. He was named the head coach on April 3, 2009.

As head coach, Carter led Nevada to a 98-97 overall record with two 20-win seasons, including a 28-7 mark and Western Athletic Conference championship in 2011-12. The 28 wins tied the 1945-46 team for the second-most wins in school history. That 2011-12 team advanced to the NIT quarterfinals -- the last time Nevada reached the postseason.

Nevada's move from the WAC to Mountain West marked a step up in competition and Nevada slipped to a 12-19 mark in 2012-13. Carter's team in 2013-14 showed a bit of a resurgence as the team finished tied for third in the Mountain West and beat rival UNLV twice. But it also finished with an overall losing record at 15-17, the second of what is now three consecutive losing seasons for Nevada.

This year's team failed to reach double figures in wins for the first time since 1999-2000 and the season came to an end Wednesday in the Mountain West Championships with a 67-46 loss to UNLV.